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1.  Dose-Response Effect of Fruit and Vegetables on Insulin Resistance in People at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(12):3888-3896.
The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to investigate the dose-response effect of fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake on insulin resistance (IR) in people who are overweight and at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
A total of 105 participants (mean age 56 years) followed a 4-week washout diet (one to two portions of F&Vs per day). Ninety-two participants completed the washout and were randomized to receive one to two, four, or seven portions of F&Vs per day for 12 weeks. IR was assessed at the start and end of this 12-week period by the two-step euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. Compliance was monitored using a combination of 4-day food diaries and plasma biomarkers of F&V intake.
A total of 89 participants completed the study. Participants attained self-reported F&V intakes of 1.8, 3.8, and 7.0 portions per day (P < 0.001) per group. There was a significant linear increase in serum lutein status across the groups, indicating good compliance (P < 0.001), and body weight was maintained (P = 0.77). No significant difference was found between groups in terms of a change in measures of whole-body, peripheral, or hepatic IR or adiponectin multimers.
Increased consumption of F&Vs, as advocated in public-health advice, has no effect on IR in overweight individuals who are at high risk of CVD when body weight is maintained. Recent evidence from systematic reviews indicates that particular classes or types of F&Vs may have particular antidiabetic properties; hence, it is possible that benefits may only be observed in response to a more specific fruit or vegetable intervention.
PMCID: PMC3836143  PMID: 24130354
2.  Maternal Age at Birth and Childhood Type 1 Diabetes: A Pooled Analysis of 30 Observational Studies 
Diabetes  2009;59(2):486-494.
The aim if the study was to investigate whether children born to older mothers have an increased risk of type 1 diabetes by performing a pooled analysis of previous studies using individual patient data to adjust for recognized confounders.
Relevant studies published before June 2009 were identified from MEDLINE, Web of Science, and EMBASE. Authors of studies were contacted and asked to provide individual patient data or conduct prespecified analyses. Risk estimates of type 1 diabetes by maternal age were calculated for each study, before and after adjustment for potential confounders. Meta-analysis techniques were used to derive combined odds ratios and to investigate heterogeneity among studies.
Data were available for 5 cohort and 25 case-control studies, including 14,724 cases of type 1 diabetes. Overall, there was, on average, a 5% (95% CI 2–9) increase in childhood type 1 diabetes odds per 5-year increase in maternal age (P = 0.006), but there was heterogeneity among studies (heterogeneity I2 = 70%). In studies with a low risk of bias, there was a more marked increase in diabetes odds of 10% per 5-year increase in maternal age. Adjustments for potential confounders little altered these estimates.
There was evidence of a weak but significant linear increase in the risk of childhood type 1 diabetes across the range of maternal ages, but the magnitude of association varied between studies. A very small percentage of the increase in the incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes in recent years could be explained by increases in maternal age.
PMCID: PMC2809958  PMID: 19875616
3.  Breast-Feeding and Childhood-Onset Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(11):2215-2225.
To investigate if there is a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes in children breastfed or exclusively breastfed by performing a pooled analysis with adjustment for recognized confounders.
Relevant studies were identified from literature searches using MEDLINE, Web of Science, and EMBASE. Authors of relevant studies were asked to provide individual participant data or conduct prespecified analyses. Meta-analysis techniques were used to combine odds ratios (ORs) and investigate heterogeneity between studies.
Data were available from 43 studies including 9,874 patients with type 1 diabetes. Overall, there was a reduction in the risk of diabetes after exclusive breast-feeding for >2 weeks (20 studies; OR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.64–0.88), the association after exclusive breast-feeding for >3 months was weaker (30 studies; OR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.75–1.00), and no association was observed after (nonexclusive) breast-feeding for >2 weeks (28 studies; OR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.81–1.07) or >3 months (29 studies; OR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.78–1.00). These associations were all subject to marked heterogeneity (I2 = 58, 76, 54, and 68%, respectively). In studies with lower risk of bias, the reduced risk after exclusive breast-feeding for >2 weeks remained (12 studies; OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.75–0.99), and heterogeneity was reduced (I2 = 0%). Adjustments for potential confounders altered these estimates very little.
The pooled analysis suggests weak protective associations between exclusive breast-feeding and type 1 diabetes risk. However, these findings are difficult to interpret because of the marked variation in effect and possible biases (particularly recall bias) inherent in the included studies.
PMCID: PMC3476923  PMID: 22837371
4.  Interbirth Interval Is Associated With Childhood Type 1 Diabetes Risk 
Diabetes  2012;61(3):702-707.
Short interbirth interval has been associated with maternal complications and childhood autism and leukemia, possibly due to deficiencies in maternal micronutrients at conception or increased exposure to sibling infections. A possible association between interbirth interval and subsequent risk of childhood type 1 diabetes has not been investigated. A secondary analysis of 14 published observational studies of perinatal risk factors for type 1 diabetes was conducted. Risk estimates of diabetes by category of interbirth interval were calculated for each study. Random effects models were used to calculate pooled odds ratios (ORs) and investigate heterogeneity between studies. Overall, 2,787 children with type 1 diabetes were included. There was a reduction in the risk of childhood type 1 diabetes in children born to mothers after interbirth intervals <3 years compared with longer interbirth intervals (OR 0.82 [95% CI 0.72–0.93]). Adjustments for various potential confounders little altered this estimate. In conclusion, there was evidence of a 20% reduction in the risk of childhood diabetes in children born to mothers after interbirth intervals <3 years.
PMCID: PMC3282800  PMID: 22315303
5.  Evidence of association of APOE with age-related macular degeneration - a pooled analysis of 15 studies 
Human mutation  2011;32(12):1407-1416.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of incurable visual impairment in high-income countries. Previous studies report inconsistent associations between AMD and apolipoprotein E (APOE), a lipid transport protein involved in low-density cholesterol modulation. Potential interaction between APOE and sex, and smoking status, has been reported. We present a pooled analysis (n=21,160) demonstrating associations between late AMD and APOε4 (OR=0.72 per haplotype; CI: 0.65–0.74; P=4.41×10−11) and APOε2 (OR=1.83 for homozygote carriers; CI: 1.04–3.23; P=0.04), following adjustment for age-group and sex within each study and smoking status. No evidence of interaction between APOE and sex or smoking was found. Ever smokers had significant increased risk relative to never smokers for both neovascular (OR=1.54; CI: 1.38–1.72; P=2.8×10−15) and atrophic (OR=1.38; CI: 1.18–1.61; P=3.37×10−5) AMD but not early AMD (OR=0.94; CI: 0.86–1.03; P=0.16), implicating smoking as a major contributing factor to disease progression from early signs to the visually disabling late forms. Extended haplotype analysis incorporating rs405509 did not identify additional risks beyondε2 and ε4 haplotypes. Our expanded analysis substantially improves our understanding of the association between the APOE locus and AMD. It further provides evidence supporting the role of cholesterol modulation, and low-density cholesterol specifically, in AMD disease etiology.
PMCID: PMC3217135  PMID: 21882290
age-related macular degeneration; AMD; apolipoprotein E; APOE; case-control association study
6.  Variations in Apolipoprotein E Frequency With Age in a Pooled Analysis of a Large Group of Older People 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;173(12):1357-1364.
Variation in the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) has been reported to be associated with longevity in humans. The authors assessed the allelic distribution of APOE isoforms ε2, ε3, and ε4 among 10,623 participants from 15 case-control and cohort studies of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in populations of European ancestry (study dates ranged from 1990 to 2009). The authors included only the 10,623 control subjects from these studies who were classified as having no evidence of AMD, since variation within the APOE gene has previously been associated with AMD. In an analysis stratified by study center, gender, and smoking status, there was a decreasing frequency of the APOE ε4 isoform with increasing age (χ2 for trend = 14.9 (1 df); P = 0.0001), with a concomitant increase in the ε3 isoform (χ2 for trend = 11.3 (1 df); P = 0.001). The association with age was strongest in ε4 homozygotes; the frequency of ε4 homozygosity decreased from 2.7% for participants aged 60 years or less to 0.8% for those over age 85 years, while the proportion of participants with the ε3/ε4 genotype decreased from 26.8% to 17.5% across the same age range. Gender had no significant effect on the isoform frequencies. This study provides strong support for an association of the APOE gene with human longevity.
PMCID: PMC3145394  PMID: 21498624
aged; apolipoprotein E2; apolipoprotein E3; apolipoprotein E4; apolipoproteins E; longevity; meta-analysis; multicenter study
7.  Clinical management and outcome of refractory asthma in the UK from the British Thoracic Society Difficult Asthma Registry 
Thorax  2012;67(8):754-756.
Refractory asthma represents a significant unmet clinical need. Data from a national online registry audited clinical outcome in 349 adults with refractory asthma from four UK specialist centres in the British Thoracic Society Difficult Asthma Network. At follow-up, lung function improved, with a reduction in important healthcare outcomes, specifically hospital admission, unscheduled healthcare visits and rescue courses of oral steroids. The most frequent therapeutic intervention was maintenance oral corticosteroids and most steroid sparing agents (apart from omalizumab) demonstrated minimal steroid sparing benefit. A significant unmet clinical need remains in this group, specifically a requirement for therapies which reduce systemic steroid exposure.
PMCID: PMC3402747  PMID: 22581823
Refractory asthma; national registry; clinical assessment and outcome; asthma phenotypes; asthma; asthma epidemiology; asthma guidelines; allergic lung disease; eosinophil biology; occupational lung disease; airway epithelium; asthma mechanisms; asthma pharmacology; COPD epidemiology; COPD exacerbations
8.  Lack of association between the Trp719Arg polymorphism in kinesin-like protein 6 and coronary artery disease in 19 case-control studies 
Assimes, Themistocles L | Hólm, Hilma | Kathiresan, Sekar | Reilly, Muredach P | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Voight, Benjamin F | Erdmann, Jeanette | Willenborg, Christina | Vaidya, Dhananjay | Xie, Changchun | Patterson, Chris C | Morgan, Thomas M | Burnett, Mary Susan | Li, Mingyao | Hlatky, Mark A | Knowles, Joshua W | Thompson, John R | Absher, Devin | Iribarren, Carlos | Go, Alan | Fortmann, Stephen P | Sidney, Stephen | Risch, Neil | Tang, Hua | Myers, Richard M | Berger, Klaus | Stoll, Monika | Shah, Svati H. | Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur | Andersen, Karl | Havulinna, Aki S | Herrera, J. Enrique | Faraday, Nauder | Kim, Yoonhee | Kral, Brian G. | Mathias, Rasika | Ruczinski, Ingo | Suktitipat, Bhoom | Wilson, Alexander F | Yanek, Lisa R. | Becker, Lewis C | Linsel-Nitschke, Patrick | Lieb, Wolfgang | König, Inke R | Hengstenberg, Christian | Fischer, Marcus | Stark, Klaus | Reinhard, Wibke | Winogradow, Janina | Grassl, Martina | Grosshennig, Anika | Preuss, Michael | Eifert, Sandra | Schreiber, Stefan | Wichmann, H-Erich | Meisinger, Christa | Yee, Jean | Friedlander, Yechiel | Do, Ron | Meigs, James B | Williams, Gordon | Nathan, David M | MacRae, Calum A | Qu, Liming | Wilensky, Robert L | Matthai, William H. | Qasim, Atif N | Hakonarson, Hakon | Pichard, Augusto D | Kent, Kenneth M | Satler, Lowell | Lindsay, Joseph M | Waksman, Ron | Knouff, Christopher W | Waterworth, Dawn M | Walker, Max C | Mooser, Vincent | Marrugat, Jaume | Lucas, Gavin | Subirana, Isaac | Sala, Joan | Ramos, Rafael | Martinelli, Nicola | Olivieri, Oliviero | Trabetti, Elisabetta | Malerba, Giovanni | Pignatti, Pier Franco | Guiducci, Candace | Mirel, Daniel | Parkin, Melissa | Hirschhorn, Joel N | Asselta, Rosanna | Duga, Stefano | Musunuru, Kiran | Daly, Mark J | Purcell, Shaun | Braund, Peter S | Wright, Benjamin J | Balmforth, Anthony J | Ball, Stephen G | Ouwehand, Willem H | Deloukas, Panos | Scholz, Michael | Cambien, Francois | Huge, Andreas | Scheffold, Thomas | Salomaa, Veikko | Girelli, Domenico | Granger, Christopher B. | Peltonen, Leena | McKeown, Pascal P | Altshuler, David | Melander, Olle | Devaney, Joseph M | Epstein, Stephen E | Rader, Daniel J | Elosua, Roberto | Engert, James C | Anand, Sonia S | Hall, Alistair S | Ziegler, Andreas | O’Donnell, Christopher J | Spertus, John A | Siscovick, David | Schwartz, Stephen M | Becker, Diane | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Stefansson, Kari | Schunkert, Heribert | Samani, Nilesh J | Quertermous, Thomas
We sought to replicate the association between the kinesin-like protein 6 (KIF6) Trp719Arg polymorphism (rs20455) and clinical coronary artery disease (CAD).
Recent prospective studies suggest that carriers of the 719Arg allele in KIF6 are at increased risk of clinical CAD compared with non-carriers.
The KIF6 Trp719Arg polymorphism (rs20455) was genotyped in nineteen case-control studies of non-fatal CAD either as part of a genome-wide association study or in a formal attempt to replicate the initial positive reports.
Over 17 000 cases and 39 000 controls of European descent as well as a modest number of South Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, East Asians, and admixed cases and controls were successfully genotyped. None of the nineteen studies demonstrated an increased risk of CAD in carriers of the 719Arg allele compared with non-carriers. Regression analyses and fixed effect meta-analyses ruled out with high degree of confidence an increase of ≥2% in the risk of CAD among European 719Arg carriers. We also observed no increase in the risk of CAD among 719Arg carriers in the subset of Europeans with early onset disease (<50 years of age for males and <60 years for females) compared with similarly aged controls as well as all non-European subgroups.
The KIF6 Trp719Arg polymorphism was not associated with the risk of clinical CAD in this large replication study.
PMCID: PMC3084526  PMID: 20933357
kinesin-like protein 6; KIF6; coronary artery disease; myocardial infarction; polymorphism
9.  Large-scale association analyses identifies 13 new susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease 
Schunkert, Heribert | König, Inke R. | Kathiresan, Sekar | Reilly, Muredach P. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Holm, Hilma | Preuss, Michael | Stewart, Alexandre F. R. | Barbalic, Maja | Gieger, Christian | Absher, Devin | Aherrahrou, Zouhair | Allayee, Hooman | Altshuler, David | Anand, Sonia S. | Andersen, Karl | Anderson, Jeffrey L. | Ardissino, Diego | Ball, Stephen G. | Balmforth, Anthony J. | Barnes, Timothy A. | Becker, Diane M. | Becker, Lewis C. | Berger, Klaus | Bis, Joshua C. | Boekholdt, S. Matthijs | Boerwinkle, Eric | Braund, Peter S. | Brown, Morris J. | Burnett, Mary Susan | Buysschaert, Ian | Carlquist, Cardiogenics, John F. | Chen, Li | Cichon, Sven | Codd, Veryan | Davies, Robert W. | Dedoussis, George | Dehghan, Abbas | Demissie, Serkalem | Devaney, Joseph M. | Do, Ron | Doering, Angela | Eifert, Sandra | El Mokhtari, Nour Eddine | Ellis, Stephen G. | Elosua, Roberto | Engert, James C. | Epstein, Stephen E. | Faire, Ulf de | Fischer, Marcus | Folsom, Aaron R. | Freyer, Jennifer | Gigante, Bruna | Girelli, Domenico | Gretarsdottir, Solveig | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gulcher, Jeffrey R. | Halperin, Eran | Hammond, Naomi | Hazen, Stanley L. | Hofman, Albert | Horne, Benjamin D. | Illig, Thomas | Iribarren, Carlos | Jones, Gregory T. | Jukema, J.Wouter | Kaiser, Michael A. | Kaplan, Lee M. | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Knowles, Joshua W. | Kolovou, Genovefa | Kong, Augustine | Laaksonen, Reijo | Lambrechts, Diether | Leander, Karin | Lettre, Guillaume | Li, Mingyao | Lieb, Wolfgang | Linsel-Nitschke, Patrick | Loley, Christina | Lotery, Andrew J. | Mannucci, Pier M. | Maouche, Seraya | Martinelli, Nicola | McKeown, Pascal P. | Meisinger, Christa | Meitinger, Thomas | Melander, Olle | Merlini, Pier Angelica | Mooser, Vincent | Morgan, Thomas | Mühleisen, Thomas W. | Muhlestein, Joseph B. | Münzel, Thomas | Musunuru, Kiran | Nahrstaedt, Janja | Nelson, Christopher P. | Nöthen, Markus M. | Olivieri, Oliviero | Patel, Riyaz S. | Patterson, Chris C. | Peters, Annette | Peyvandi, Flora | Qu, Liming | Quyyumi, Arshed A. | Rader, Daniel J. | Rallidis, Loukianos S. | Rice, Catherine | Rosendaal, Frits R. | Rubin, Diana | Salomaa, Veikko | Sampietro, M. Lourdes | Sandhu, Manj S. | Schadt, Eric | Schäfer, Arne | Schillert, Arne | Schreiber, Stefan | Schrezenmeir, Jürgen | Schwartz, Stephen M. | Siscovick, David S. | Sivananthan, Mohan | Sivapalaratnam, Suthesh | Smith, Albert | Smith, Tamara B. | Snoep, Jaapjan D. | Soranzo, Nicole | Spertus, John A. | Stark, Klaus | Stirrups, Kathy | Stoll, Monika | Tang, W. H. Wilson | Tennstedt, Stephanie | Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Tomaszewski, Maciej | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Rij, Andre M. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Wareham, Nick J. | Wells, George A. | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Wild, Philipp S. | Willenborg, Christina | Witteman, Jaqueline C. M. | Wright, Benjamin J. | Ye, Shu | Zeller, Tanja | Ziegler, Andreas | Cambien, Francois | Goodall, Alison H. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Quertermous, Thomas | März, Winfried | Hengstenberg, Christian | Blankenberg, Stefan | Ouwehand, Willem H. | Hall, Alistair S. | Deloukas, Panos | Thompson, John R. | Stefansson, Kari | Roberts, Robert | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | O’Donnell, Christopher J. | McPherson, Ruth | Erdmann, Jeanette | Samani, Nilesh J.
Nature genetics  2011;43(4):333-338.
We performed a meta-analysis of 14 genome-wide association studies of coronary artery disease (CAD) comprising 22,233 cases and 64,762 controls of European descent, followed by genotyping of top association signals in 60,738 additional individuals. This genomic analysis identified 13 novel loci harboring one or more SNPs that were associated with CAD at P<5×10−8 and confirmed the association of 10 of 12 previously reported CAD loci. The 13 novel loci displayed risk allele frequencies ranging from 0.13 to 0.91 and were associated with a 6 to 17 percent increase in the risk of CAD per allele. Notably, only three of the novel loci displayed significant association with traditional CAD risk factors, while the majority lie in gene regions not previously implicated in the pathogenesis of CAD. Finally, five of the novel CAD risk loci appear to have pleiotropic effects, showing strong association with various other human diseases or traits.
PMCID: PMC3119261  PMID: 21378990
10.  Targeted genome-wide investigation identifies novel SNPs associated with diabetic nephropathy 
The HUGO Journal  2010;3(1-4):77-82.
Loci contributing to complex disease have been identified by focusing on genome-wide scans utilising non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs). We employed Illumina’s HNS12 BeadChip (13,917 high-value SNPs) which was specifically designed to capture nsSNPs and ideally complements more dense genome-wide association studies that fail to consider many of these putatively functional variants. The HNS12 panel also includes 870 tag SNPs covering the major histocompatibility region. All individuals genotyped in this study were Caucasians with (cases) and without (controls) diabetic nephropathy. About 449 individuals with type 2 diabetes (203 cases, 246 controls) were genotyped in the initial study. 1,467 individuals with type 1 diabetes (718 cases, 749 controls) were genotyped in the follow up study. 11,152 SNPs were successfully analysed and ranked for association with diabetic nephropathy based on significance (P) values. The top ranked 32 SNPs were subsequently genotyped using MassARRAY iPLEX™ and TaqMan technologies to investigate association of these polymorphisms with nephropathy in individuals with type 1 diabetes. The top ranked nsSNP, rs1543547 (P = 10−5), is located in RAET1L, a major histocompatibility class I-related gene at 6q25.1. Of particular interest, multiple nsSNPs within the top ranked (0.2%) SNPs are within several plausible candidate genes for nephropathy on 3q21.3 and 6p21.3.
PMCID: PMC2882642  PMID: 21119753
nsSNP; MHC; Genetic predisposition; Diabetic nephropathy
11.  Nature or nurture; BMI and blood pressure at 90. Findings from the Belfast Elderly Longitudinal Free-living Aging STudy (BELFAST) 
Age  2009;31(4):261-267.
Hypertension is a key risk factor for stroke, cardiovascular disease and dementia. Although the link between weight, sodium and hypertension is established in younger people, little is known about their inter-relationship in people beyond 80 years of age. Associations between blood pressure, anthropometric indices and sodium were investigated in 495 apparently healthy, community-living participants (age 90, SD 4.8; range 80–106), from the cross-sectional Belfast Elderly Longitudinal Free-living Aging STudy (BELFAST) study. In age-sex-adjusted logistic regression models, blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg significantly associated with body mass index (BMI) [odds ratio (OR) = 1.28/ kg/m2], with weight (OR = 1.22/kg) approaching significance (P = 0.07). In further age-sex-adjusted models, blood pressure above the 120/80 mmHg normotensive reference value significantly associated with BMI (OR = 1.44/kg/m2), weight (OR = 1.36/kg), skin-fold-thickness (OR = 1.33/mm) and serum sodium (OR = 1.37 mmol/l). In BELFAST participants over 80 years old, blood pressure ≥140/90 mmHg is associated with BMI, in apparently similar ways to younger groups.
PMCID: PMC2813048  PMID: 19496022
Blood pressure; Body mass index; Weight; Sodium; Octo/nonagenarians
12.  Chromosome 9p21.3 is Associated with Early-Onset Coronary Heart Disease in the Irish Population 
Disease markers  2008;25(2):81-85.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) remains a leading cause of death across the world. A region on chromosome 9p21.3 has been recently reported to be associated with CHD. We evaluated 3 SNPs and 3 common haplotypes in the 9p21.3 region in 1494 individuals from 580 Irish families, where at least 1 member had early-onset (males ≤55yr, females ≤60yr) CHD. Genotypes were determined by multiplex SNaPshot technology. Using the combined TDT/S-TDT test, the 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), rs10757274, rs2383206 and rs1333049, were strongly associated with early-onset CHD (p = 2.7 × 10-6, 2.7 × 10-6, 3.8 × 10-7, respectively). Analysis of haplotypes by the TRANSMIT program also showed that the GGC haplotype was associated with early-onset CHD (p = 7.9 × 10-7). In conclusion, using a family-based approach in the Irish population, we have confirmed previous reports of association between a region on chromosome 9p21.3 and early-onset CHD.
PMCID: PMC3827790  PMID: 18957718
Coronary heart disease; chromosome 9p21.3; genetics
13.  Genetic variants of Complement factor H gene are not associated with premature coronary heart disease: a family-based study in the Irish population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2007;8:62.
The complement factor H (CFH) gene has been recently confirmed to play an essential role in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There are conflicting reports of its role in coronary heart disease. This study was designed to investigate if, using a family-based approach, there was an association between genetic variants of the CFH gene and risk of early-onset coronary heart disease.
We evaluated 6 SNPs and 5 common haplotypes in the CFH gene amongst 1494 individuals in 580 Irish families with at least one member prematurely affected with coronary heart disease. Genotypes were determined by multiplex SNaPshot technology.
Using the TDT/S-TDT test, we did not find an association between any of the individual SNPs or any of the 5 haplotypes and early-onset coronary heart disease.
In this family-based study, we found no association between the CFH gene and early-onset coronary heart disease.
PMCID: PMC2048938  PMID: 17877809
14.  Resequencing of genes for transforming growth factor β1 (TGFB1) type 1 and 2 receptors (TGFBR1, TGFBR2), and association analysis of variants with diabetic nephropathy 
Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end stage renal failure in the western world. There is substantial epidemiological evidence supporting a genetic predisposition to diabetic nephropathy, however the exact molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Transforming growth factor (TGFβ1) is a crucial mediator in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.
We investigated the role of five known single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TGFB1 gene for their association with diabetic nephropathy in an Irish, type 1 diabetic case (n = 272) control (n = 367) collection. The activity of TGFβ1 is facilitated by the action of type 1 and type 2 receptors, with both receptor genes (TGFBR1 and TGFBR2) shown to be upregulated in diabetic kidney disease. We therefore screened TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 genes for genomic variants using WAVE™ (dHPLC) technology and confirmed variants by direct capillary sequencing. Allele frequencies were determined in forty-eight healthy individuals. Data for all SNPs was assessed for Hardy Weinberg equilibrium, with genotypes and allele frequencies compared using the χ2 test for contingency tables. Patterns of linkage disequilibrium were established and common haplotypes estimated.
Fifteen variants were identified in these genes, seven of which are novel, and putatively functional SNPs were subsequently genotyped using TaqMan™, Invader™ or Pyrosequencing® technology. No significant differences (p > 0.1) were found in genotype or allele distributions between cases and controls for any of the SNPs assessed.
Our results suggest common variants in TGFB1, TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 genes do not strongly influence genetic susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy in an Irish Caucasian population.
PMCID: PMC1808054  PMID: 17319955
15.  Lack of MEF2A Δ7aa mutation in Irish families with early onset ischaemic heart disease, a family based study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2006;7:65.
Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is a complex disease due to the combination of environmental and genetic factors. Mutations in the MEF2A gene have recently been reported in patients with IHD. In particular, a 21 base pair deletion (Δ7aa) in the MEF2A gene was identified in a family with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance of IHD. We investigated this region of the MEF2A gene using an Irish family-based study, where affected individuals had early-onset IHD.
A total of 1494 individuals from 580 families were included (800 discordant sib-pairs and 64 parent-child trios). The Δ7aa region of the MEF2A gene was investigated based on amplicon size.
The Δ7aa mutation was not detected in any individual. Variation in the number of CAG (glutamate) and CCG (proline) residues was detected in a nearby region. However, this was not found to be associated with IHD.
The Δ7aa mutation was not detected in any individual within the study population and is unlikely to play a significant role in the development of IHD in Ireland. Using family-based tests of association the number of tri-nucleotide repeats in a nearby region of the MEF2A gene was not associated with IHD in our study group.
PMCID: PMC1552052  PMID: 16872533
16.  The Matrix Metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) 5A/6A Promoter Polymorphism Is Not Associated with Ischaemic Heart Disease: Analysis Employing a Family Based Approach 
Disease markers  2005;20(6):289-294.
Matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) has been proposed as an important mediator of the atherosclerotic process. The possible role of the functional -1612 5A/6A polymorphism of the MMP-3 gene in the susceptibility to ischaemic heart disease (IHD) was investigated in a well-defined Irish population using two recently described family based tests of association. One thousand and twelve individuals from 386 families with at least one member prematurely affected with IHD were genotyped. Using the combined transmission disequilibrium test (TDT)/sib-TDT and the pedigree disequilibrium test (PDT), no association between the MMP-3 -1612 5A/6A polymorphism and IHD was found. Our data demonstrate that, in an Irish population, the MMP-3 -1612 5A/6A polymorphism is not associated with IHD.
PMCID: PMC3839324  PMID: 15665388
gene polymorphism; ischaemic heart disease; matrix metalloproteinase-3; stromelysin-1

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